May 02, 2013 -- Able Newsflash No.371

Care News

The Police and Trading Standards are asking bank staff to be vigilant when an elderly or vulnerable person wishes to make out of character large cash withdrawals. The reasoning is that there may be a possibility that customers coming to withdraw unusual large sums may be victims of unscrupulous traders/sellers who have demanded money up front.

During 2010 the Office of Fair Trading received more than 13,000 complaints about rogue door step traders who had called at the homes of vulnerable people unannounced and tried to sell them goods or services. Often they would tell them they needed urgent building work carried out, demanded a large sum of cash, and even offered to drive their victim to the bank or wait at their home while they withdrew the money.


From The Guardian: Adult social care accounts for about 40-50% of council spending, and as spending cuts deepen, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain levels of service as demand for care rises.

Many councils have increased charges for some care services – the Guardian survey of council cuts found 23 of the 42 councils that answered the question have introduced new charges or raised existing payments for some adult care services.

The government is currently consulting on changes to social care that are likely to see a uniform national threshold of care set at "substantial" needs by 2015. But some councils warn that without reform of social care funding they will soon be forced to restrict services to critical only – with potentially devastating effects.


BIG – The Big Lottery Fund has two new initiatives aimed to improve the lives of vulnerable, older people in the UK. Up to £6m will be available between now and 2015 and 100 local authorities are being invited to submit an expression of interest for funding. Closing date is 17th May 2013.

Question of the Week

"I saw an advertisement from a Will Writing Company that advertised that the cost of a making a will was £35.00 and it could be done on the telephone. Since then I have noticed similar advertisements and even one for the process being done by the internet and email. Does any kind of regulation cover the activity of will writing?"

Answer : Not at the present time. There is however The Institute of Professional Will Writers which is a self regulatory body covering England Wales and Northern Ireland. The organisation was established in 1991 and you can see their criteria for membership and continued membership at: www.ipw.org.uk

There is a growing movement for regulation in the industry and organisations such as the The Law Society and The Institute of Professional Will Writers believe this would be good and is necessary.

Interesting Information / Statistics

Trustmark

Local, trustworthy & reliable tradesmen, operating to Government endorsed standards. TrustMark is a not for profit organisation, licensed by Government and supported by consumer protection groups.

TrustMark approved tradesmen - key benefits:

TrustMark is a quality mark which operates a framework under which 30 plus scheme operators work in the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector, including trade associations, local government trading standards teams, and independent scheme operators. These schemes are approved to carry the TrustMark logo and recruit reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. This enables the TrustMark scheme operators to promote improved RMI sector standards, and tackle related issues such as better enforcement. All of these scheme operators are audited annually by TrustMark, to ensure processes, standards and complaint procedures are being maintained.

What makes selecting TrustMark tradesmen so worthwhile?

  1. A firm's technical skills have been independently checked through regular on-site inspections, as well as checks on their trading record and financial status;
  2. Firms have signed up to a code of practice that includes insurance, good health and safety practices and customer care;
  3. The approved scheme operator has checked and will continue to monitor the firm's quality of work, trading practices and customer satisfaction;
  4. Firms are able to offer an Insurance Backed Warranty;
  5. Deposit Protection Insurance is available for consumers in the event a firm should cease trading;
  6. Firms will be able to tell you about any building regulations you must comply with and may also be able to provide appropriate certificates;
  7. If you have a problem or disagreement with the firm, there will be a clear and user-friendly complaints procedure to help resolve the issue;
  8. The scheme is fully supported by Government, the building industry and consumer protection groups;
  9. All of these checks will give you - Peace of Mind.
If a firm displays a TrustMark logo you know that we (Trustmark) have approved and inspected the firm through one of our scheme operators and found that the firm meets the required Government endorsed criteria as described above.

Important Note:

When employing a TrustMark tradesman always check they are 'licensed' for all the trades / work you are asking them to carry out. This can be done by looking on our website by searching under the 'trade' then 'their company name' and finally 'more information' - you will then see a list of the 'only' trades that the firm is licensed for under the protection and standards offered by TrustMark: www.trustmark.org.uk

In-House News

Our Risk assessor attended a course 'Dignity in Care'. A monitoring visit has taken place in Greater Manchester. Three potential live-in carers have been interviewed out of thirty applications we have received this month to date.

Client Profile

George who is in his 60’s came to Able Community Care in November last year from a care home. George who is severely disabled as a result of a stroke wished to come back to his own home in the community. George has no close family so his social worker facilitated his move and live-in carers have been providing care since that date. George has two regular, rotating live in carers.


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Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.